It is quite cathartic writing a weekly blog, not that I ever go back and read what I have written previously, I suppose one day I will, when I am retired if that ever happens! Even though not much than the usual routine happens during the Winter month and the blog is sometime like a retrospective weekly weather report, to me it is important to write it down, if anyone reads it or not is another matter entirely 🙂
As I have said in previous blogs, I sit down to write this and think, what have I done this week, it’s hard to remember unless it’s written down as I go, the weekend stuff is easy because it’s fresh in my memory but the rest is very often a blur. Routine is important and becomes the norm and the norm is not very exciting to write about, but without the routine the animals would probably rise up and revolt. Somehow, without a clock of any kind, they know exactly what time feeding is, the chickens are usually gathered all along the fence, the dogs start whining, the horses become agitated and the ducks waddle back from the paddocks before I even step outside the door, of course they can’t feed themselves and they rely on me to be punctual.
We have spent a couple of the better days this week, tidying up more of the front areas, I say we as Mum has been down to help on one of the days and Hubby has helped to cut the front hedge on another day, we now have a big pile of cuttings heaped up ready to burn as they deteriorate, it is surprising how much debris is created. The front is now ready for Spring and it won’t be long before the buds begin to burst open and the whole area will be green and full of life again, the daffodils and primroses are also budding almost ready to give us bursts of colour which will be much appreciated.
One of the jobs we achieved this weekend was to move the chickens from their very muddy, smelly paddock to a fresh paddock next door with grass. There is a bit of logistics to this job as it’s best to do it first thing before letting them all out that way they can be contained inside the electric fencing, well that’s the theory. It didn’t quite go according to plan this time however, the ground is still quite soft and towing the big coop was a little difficult, the smaller ones can just be lifted into place but somehow some of the Hens got free and so I decided to let them all have a bit of freedom to roam. This was fine until they decided that the lane was a great place to roam which led to a phone all from our neighbour to tell us that they were all over the road, trying to round them up was like a scene from a comedy sketch. They clearly enjoyed this new life of exploration and were not in any hurry to go back behind the fence, one of them was like a road runner, every time we thought we had got her cornered she would shoot out and run off down the paddock, after about half an hour of chasing and trying to entice them in with various tit bits we finally managed to get the last one in. They are obviously happy in the new paddock as the egg numbers increased almost immediately and it is lovely to see them in a much better grassy environment than the mud pool they were in before.
This week I also received the eggs for the incubator that I have been waiting for, Norfolk Greys and some Light Sussex bantams, although we sell point of lay hens people often ask if I have any bantams so this year I will be able to say yes providing the hatch goes well. The Quail I hatched out are now four weeks old and it will only be another two weeks before they become fully mature and ready to lay eggs, they are quick to develop and I have been busy getting an outside cage ready for them to move into probably sometime in the next week. The objective this week will be to wean them off of the lamp they are under, they are still having it turned on at night but during the day it is turned off, and I just have to keep my fingers crossed that once they go out the weather is kind and does not suddenly drop in temperature.